Faith influences how we pay attention

Faith influences how we pay attention

I have heard a skeptical version of today’s gospel (I cannot recall the source though), wherein in this version, the disciples are characterized as foolish and cowardly, and that the storm is not really that strong nor the waters deep. In this version, it is not a miracle that Jesus rebuked the winds and the sea. The situation is simply non-threatening, with the cowardice of the disciples exaggerating the danger.

Regardless of the version, whether skeptical or supernatural, my insight is this: our faith influences the way we pay attention.

In the skeptical version, if the disciples have faith in their leader and can compose themselves, they would be able to read the situation and realize that there is no danger to be afraid of.

In the supernatural version, if the disciples indeed have acquired a full belief in God, then there is no reason to fret.

On another but related note, this week, we are conducting our MBA students’ action research defenses. As a panelist and a former MBA student myself, I cannot help but apply the thinking tools we teach in my own context. And it feels fulfilling to apply thinking tools in the way I examine myself and my own journey in acquiring a reasonable kind of faith.

Faith and hope indeed go together. Whether it is faith in the Divine or not, hope implies that we can flourish, be better than ourselves, and belong with something greater than ourselves.

Matthew 8:23-27. They came and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm.


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